There are close encounters and then there is this.
Bear hunting is an interesting hunt. In many parts of North America, people love to hunt them, and in some areas the only real way to be successful is to bait them.
In dense black bear country, this method is almost unfathomable. But in areas with lower bear populations and no real open grassland, the possibility of not shooting one over a bait pile is almost impossible without a lot of luck.
The thing about bear baiting is that if they are regulars, they get very comfortable at these places. They don’t really care about human presence because there is a constant food source. Nothing stands between a bear and its next meal.
This makes bear hunting easy for some people. In others, it offers a great opportunity to develop patience as a hunter. To forgo several bears waiting for the big boi to show up. It also offers an opportunity to improve bowhunting skills with the close encounters it can provide.
This hunter, Clay Newcomb, had a crazy experience while hunting bears. Using a traditional bow, a much more difficult method that we all think of when we think of bow and arrow. A simple setup that takes a lot of practice to have the confidence to shoot an animal.
The hunter shoots and misses a dandy bear about 15 yards away. The hunter is relying on his luck and half mad at himself. But that didn’t last long.
A blond sow comes out, a variation of a black bear that has irregular colors. A huge boar follows her and tries to woo her around the bait pile.
That alone is a wild encounter.
But the hunter is waiting for an opportunity to take out the big boy. He hesitates, having missed it just earlier in the day. As he walks past a shot, the bear wanders over to him.
It looks blind in its ground and actually thrusts into the hunter’s arrow.
The hunter then retreats, dropping a bear’s stud.
This is one heartbreaking chase if I’ve ever seen it.
And here’s the thing… people got mad about it.
Clay has joined Steve Rinella’s MeatEater podcast to talk more about the crazy encounter.
“Until he touched the butt of my arrow, I thought I was in the driver’s seat…when my arrow hit his nose, I said, ‘Oh crap.’ It was scary.”
Clay made a good clean shot, followed up with another and stocked his freezer, but after people saw the video, they had some complaints.
Clay revealed he took a ton of heat, even from other bowhunters, for killing. A lot of people felt that the bear had spared Clay’s life and that Clay had taken his life…not to mention that they’d claimed he’d given him a bad first shot.
But at the end of the day, Steve Rinella explained it this way:
“You hunt. The goal is to get a bear. you have a bear Does it remove the target if the bear touches your arrow?”
Pretty solid logic.
I’ve never hunted a bear, but as long as it’s a legal, ethical kill, a well-placed and efficient shot, and it’s a mature, old bear… what difference does it make if the bear is near you?
Especially when using a traditional bow…. The closer the better, for both you and the bear… right?
You’re mad because the shot was “easy”? The bear “spared” him? Give me a break…
https://www.whiskeyriff.com/2022/10/21/massive-black-bear-bumps-right-into-traditional-bow-hunters-arrow/ Massive Black Bear Bumps Right Into Traditional Bow Hunters Arrow